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Menu of Recipes:
Denali’s No Knead Bread
Rick’s No Knead Variation
Malcolm’s No Knead Method
Rick’s Whole Wheat & Rolled Oats No Knead
Rick’s No Knead Rye
Mark’s Caramelized Onion Loaf


See also Joe Valencic’s recipe for over-sized Craisin No Knead Bread. This recipe is 50% larger than the basic recipe. And Joe’s recipe for No Knead Rye. (Clicking these links will take you to other pages)
And Ruth Katz’s (Hatuli’s) recipe for seeded whole wheat rye bread below.

Denali’s No Knead Bread

Thanks to Denali for this modified version of the New York Times recipe of Nov. 2006.

Denali operated her own bread baking business for 10 years, and studied baguette making with Amy Sherber from NY. She has also taught bread baking, and recently taught a group of at-risk inner city young people how to bake.

Mix together thoroughly (this becomes your poolish {sponge}):

1 & 3/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast (yes, that’s all)
1 cup all purpose flour (King Arthur or any unbleached, unbromated all purp. white flour)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

Cover loosely & let work overnight (or 4 – 8 hours).  Mixture should be risen and possibly bubbly.  It may have risen & fallen and be sitting on top of a bed of liquid.  If you wish & you’re able to, you can go on to the next step as soon as the poolish becomes bubbly, but it’s all right to let it work till it gets to the “sitting on liquid” stage.

Add & mix well with spatula:
2 cups flour (I use half whole wheat & half white; you can experiment as you wish)

(At this point you can add any ingredients you’d like:

  • 2-3 TBS fresh rosemary + 2/3 of a med-lg onion sliced thin;
  • 2/3 cup calamata olives cut in halves or thirds;
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup each craisins & chopped toasted pecans + 2 TBS sugar;
  • chunks of asagiao cheese in ½ inch cubes (better if you use 2 cups white instead of part white & part whole  wheat);
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese + 2/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts;
  • for rye bread:  DO NOT add 2 cups white flour.  Add 2 Tbs caraway seeds and 3/4 cup rye flour and 1 1/4 cups white flour;
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, 2 tsp maple extract, 3 TBS brown sugar; preheat oven to 500 to heat pot, but bake at 425 for first half hour and for uncovered stage;
  • whatever your creativity suggests

Cover & let work till risen (6-8 hours or over night).  At this point the dough should be doubled in size and you should be able to see large bubbles just below the surface.  You can bake the bread now, or delay baking by doing the following.

Sprinkle top & edges with 2 TBS flour & fold sides in to center all the around the bowl.  Fold the dough over a few times.

*Set aside for another 3 hours or so.
(If you don’t have time to bake the bread at this point, you can repeat this (*) step.  The flavor will develop further if you do, but will still be good if you don’t.

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Malcolm’s Method

Malcolm’s no knead recipe, as with Denali’s above, uses a poolish as the starter. A poolish (also known as a biga {Italian}) is  the starter or pre-ferment that is made of flour, water and yeast. Malcolm makes his from 100 g flour, 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and water to mix (enough water to make a slack dough, probably 150 ml).  Then leaves it until it bubbles up, and refrigerates covered until needed.

Malcolm is holding back a piece of dough (50 grams) from his previous batch as his starter for the next one. So if you are just starting out, you will need to create your starter first. You can use Malcolm’s simple method or Denali’s above. In this recipe, Malcolm is using a starter PLUS 1 tsp instant yeast. If you’re having any problems with getting a good rise in your bread, this aught to take care of it.

If you’re not on the metric system, you’ll need to convert measurements.

From Malcolm:

Here’s my present standard method, which I have to say produces consistent delicious results.

  • 50 grams starter (poolish)
  • 400 grams of flour
  • 350 ml of cold water
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

All mixed together (hold back a little water) to produce a moist dough that pulls away from the walls of the bowl.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and leave it in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours, then at room temperature for 8-12 hours or until it doubles in bulk.

Turn out and form the dough on a floured board, handling it gently so as not to degas.  Reserve about 50 grams of the dough for a starter in the next batch.  Put the baking pot in the oven and preheat the oven to 500.  Bake the dough in the covered pot (I mostly use a clay baker, but any covered pot will work) at 500 for 30 minutes. Then uncovered for 8-10 minutes at 450.  I often just remove the lid and leave the bread in the residual heat of the oven for the 8-10 minutes.

I usually mix 2/3 unbleached white flour with 1/3 something else:  multigrain, or stone ground hard whole wheat, for example.  If the proportion of whole wheat is higher, I might add 1 Tbs of vital wheat gluten.

Use inexpensive balsamic vinegar.  White balsamic vinegar is also good.  I just made a loaf with all white flour, white balsamic vinegar and mixed into the dough 1 Tbs of dried fines herbes, with excellent results.

The starter really makes a difference, like a poolish or biga.   I now reserve some dough from each batch, without worrying if it’s the same flour mix as the new batch.  It keeps indefinitely tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Refrigerating the dough has the effects as described in BBA (Bread Bakers Apprentice), but also makes your baking schedule flexible, since it doesn’t seem to matter if the dough is refrigerated, say, 18 or 24 hours or even longer.


Malcolm K.
Toronto, Canada

BTW, I was in a rented condo in Florida for two weeks, where I made terrific bread in a covered pyrex bowl, using King Arthur unbleached white and their white whole wheat flours, which they don’t market in Canada.  Here I use excellent unbleached white and stone ground hard whole wheat that I buy from a bulk store, and Robin Hood MultiGrain.  Robin Hood also has unbleached white and Nutriflour, which is unbleached white plus wheat bran.  They’re all good.

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Rick’s No Knead Variation

Rick, from Oakville, Ontario, has had great success with this variation of the basic no knead method using a multi-grain cereal and a little milk…

“Here is the recipe and pics for the no knead loaf I did, using Red River Cereal to add some texture and flavour. I used unbleached flour in this bake to see what it would do for the colour. It adds a nice creamy tone to the bread. I added a little more yeast – probably 3/8 teaspoon in total. The milk softens the crust a little, it is still chewy just not as crisp. The milk can be left out and water substituted for a crispier crust.

For the rest I followed the usual no knead steps however I use an oiled bowl for the proof stage – never could understand why on earth the towel method was suggested.

If you are not familiar with Red River cereal here is their website: http://www.redrivercereal.com/.


  • 3 C unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¼ t+ rapid yeast – Fleischmann’s
  • 1 ½ t coarse sea salt
  • 1 ½ C tepid water
  • 2T milk
  • 6T Red River cereal

18 hour ferment, 3 hour proof. 30 minutes at 450F in glazed clay casserole covered then 20 minutes uncovered, internal temperature 200F+.”

Ricks Bread

Ricks Bread2

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Rick’s Whole Wheat & Rolled Oats No Knead Recipe

Another winner from Rick…

Here is my take on whole wheat NK bread. It turned out quite well. A nice looking flavourful bread.


Whole Wheat and Rolled Oats No Knead Bread

  • 1 cup rolled oats – chopped coarsely
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt – optional
  • 1 ½  tbsp wheat gluten
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 ½ cups water

Mill the oats in a food chopper to a coarse consistency. Measure and top up to 1 cup with whole wheat flour.

Dissolve salt in tepid water, add milk and combine with dry ingredients

Ferment and proof according to the traditional NYT instructions. I use oiled bowls for both the ferment and proofing stages.

This dough was slow to rise on the ferment; it did not show the population of large bubbles that you normally see with this style of bread. The final 4 hours of the ferment took place in the oven with the light on. The oven temperature with the light on is between 78F and 80F. Once the dough was in the oven more activity took place and it rose nicely.

I gave it 8 single alternating folds (fold, turn, fold, turn) prior to shaping, then proofed in a small oiled mixing bowl and again put it in the oven with light on. Very good rise in proofing stage. Proofed for 2 hours.

I dusted the top of the loaf with rolled oats and baked it at 450F in a glazed stoneware casserole – covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes – to an internal temperature of 200F.

The crust was softened with the addition of the milk (leave it out if you want a crispier crust) the crumb was typical of whole wheat breads with a range of small to medium holes and a flavourful firm crumb.

Ricks Whole wheat and oats.jpg

Ricks Whole wheat and oats sliced.jpg

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Rick’s No Knead Rye

Another Rick gem. Made with 20% dark rye and only a 12 hour initial ferment. You can see the nice rise and open crumb. Rick describes the taste as “very flavourful”.

This may address some questions about the necessity of proofing for the entire 18 hours as typically prescribed in the no knead recipe. While the longer proof is often desirable for full flavor development, it’s nice to know we can squeeze the total recipe time down if time is short and still achieve good results.

This is a yeasted bread. Next up for Rick is a sourdough version of the no knead recipe, his first attempt at sourdough baking. Perhaps he’ll keep us abreast of his baking adventures.

Ricks no knead rye

Simple Light Rye 12 hour

2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 cup dark rye flour

2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4+  teaspoon yeast

1 3/4 cups water – by weight 75% hydration

Ferment 12 hours then French fold

Proof 2 hours

Bake covered for 30 minutes at 500F

Finish uncovered at 400F 15 minutes

(Dry 15 minutes heat off)

Internal 209.5F
Open crumb, salty, good flavour, great crust.

Rick’s Baking Notes:

SALT: Most of us are or should be aware about sodium consumption. This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt. I have made this same loaf without salt and substituted 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar for 2 tablespoons of water to maintain a hydration of 75%. The cider vinegar boosts the overall flavour of the loaf and also adds a pleasant back taste to give the loaf personality.

FRENCH FOLD: I discovered this method on a baking blog. When the primary fermentation is complete turn the dough out on a floured board and gently stretch the dough into a loaf like shape. Place your hands under the dough at the mid point and lift. When the dough folds in on itself return to the board, stretch and repeat. I do this 5 or 6 times and then proof the loaf for 2 hours in a proofing bowl.

FLOUR: This loaf works nicely when 1 cup of whole wheat flour is substituted for 1 cup of all purpose flour.

DRY CYCLE: Once the loaf is baked and the internal temperature has been reached, turn the oven off, prop the door open a few inches and leave the loaf in the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This conditions the loaf and will help deliver a crusty loaf.

WEIGHING VS MEASURING: The debate surrounding dry measure versus weighing ingredients continues. I bought a digital scale from Eric last year and now find I can replicate recipes time after time without noticeable variations. I was not able to do this when I baked using volumetric measuring. This recipe was developed using volumetric measure.

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Mark’s Caramelized Onion Loaf

Breadtopia reader Mark Liptak has been enjoying great results with a variety of no knead bread variations. But his favorite (as of press time) is this shoe in for the No Knead Hall of Fame…

Using your basic no knead recipe I sliced a large vadalia onion and caramelized it with butter on low heat in a sautée pan for 20 minutes.  I let the onion cool and mixed it in with the dough, added a couple more TSPs of water for sticky consistency, and let stand for 18 hours.  I was concerned that I’d added too much onion, but after it rises and is baked off its fabulous.  Give it a try….

Marks Onion.JPG

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No Knead Bread Recipes Using Instant Yeast*

Earlier Comments

65 thoughts on “No Knead Bread Recipes Using Instant Yeast*

  1. Sarah

    You can substitute 1 cup sourdough starter for the yeast. it would be a healthier bread to eat….

    Rye flour is the most easily digestible flour to use in bread..

  2. Sarah

    I have found that no knead bread only lasts for one day as the bread gets very dry and hard. Is there any way of making the bread last for at least two days without this happening?

  3. Barbara Yoder

    Hello! I love this website, thank you so much for everything you do! I was wondering if anyone has weight measurements for Rick’s Rye, above?

  4. Malcolm
    I think I have got mixed up with the dough you save, does it come from the poolish?

    Marian H.

  5. Malcolm
    When you reserve some dough from a loaf you are preparing, how do you incorporate into the next loaf you are baking.
    I have saved some dough from a yeast loaf, I want to add it to my next recipe. Do I just mix it in during the fold and knead stage?

    Marian H.

  6. Marleen

    Trying out Denali’s No Knead Bread, but there is no reference on how to bake the bread. It does mention: preheat oven to 500 to heat pot, but bake at 425 for first half hour and for uncovered stage?

    Is this what I should do?


    • Minnie

      My take is to preheat oven to 500 to heat pot ONLY; then,
      reduce to 425 deg. F and bake bread at 425 for first half hour
      and at 425 also for baking at the uncovered stage

  7. Bill Doyle

    I’m trying to come up with a No-Knead Gluten-Free Flatbread.
    I made the Cooks Ilustraded No Knead 3 times over Thanksgiving and loved it.
    If anybody can help out with this please let me know.

    • Minnie

      My take is to preheat oven to 500 to heat pot ONLY; then,
      reduce to 425 deg. F and bake bread at 425 for first half hour
      and at 425 also for baking at the uncovered stage

  8. my bread stuck to the “Le Creuset” dutch oven and the bottom was burned, as were the sides of the bread. Should I grease the dutch oven or use parchment paper or what?

    the better part of the bread was delicious lovely crust and a tasty bread

    would try to make it again………..

    • christine

      Did you preheat the pot in the oven for about 30 minutes first?

    • Melissa

      Cecile, I’ve discovered that my bread also burns when I bake it in a preheated oven and dutch oven. But, I solved the problem! My new method is as follows:
      After the initial slow rise, fold and rest the dough as usual. Place the folded dough into a cold dutch oven, dusted with cornmeal. Replace lid of dutch oven, and place in a cold oven. Allow to rise for an hour. Turn on oven to 500 degrees. After 30 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 450. After 45 minutes remove lid of dutch oven. At 1 hour remove bread from oven. Voila!

  9. In Malcom’s methed, he does not specify how much water to use for the starter.

Comments are closed.